In an unsettling event that took place Monday, a man from Veneta, Oregon, by the name of Trennon Smith was starting wildfires in a remote forested corner of Oregon, as reported by The Oregonian. According to a sheriff, the man was tied to a tree by three local residents until authorities arrived. This could not have come at a worse time, with many parts of Oregon facing an extreme record heat wave. With temperatures hitting triple digits in the northwest, Seattle and Portland are under excessive-heat warnings until Thursday evening.
A dangerous heat wave, with widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories, will impact the Northwestern U.S. this week, before some relief by late in the weekend/early next week.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 26, 2022
Earlier this week a “white male adult was seen walking along the gravel road that leads towards Mariel Lodge and Rogue River Ranch, starting fires,” Curry County Sheriff John Ward said in a statement. The fires were started in areas only accessible by the Rogue River or Forest Service on BLM roads. There are also reportedly lodges in the nearby area, most commonly used by rafters and fishermen.
Local authorities including state and county, as well as federal, had responded to a radio call from an employee at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reporting Smith was walking along a gravel road and igniting fires, around 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass. The sheriff’s office had alerted local patrols and the southwest Oregon Department of Forestry, to help assist extinguish the fires as well as locating the suspect.
“Three helicopters were dispatched by (the Oregon Department of Forestry) while ground crews including residents of the area quickly got the two fires under control and contained,” deputies said in a news release.
Smith had become very combative with the locals, who eventually had no choice but to tie him to a tree in an effort to subdue him. The suspect was detained According to a statement, an ambulance was dispatched as the suspect had sustained some injuries as a result of falling down.
After Smith was treated for his injuries, he was taken to the Curry County jail on charges of arson and reckless burning, with his bond set to $100,000. The total area burned was less than one acre.
According to the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, as of Wednesday morning, 11 fires were burning in Oregon.